MANCHESTER, N.H. — A 9-year-old boy critically injured Saturday in a horrific snowmobile crash at Lake Massabesic in Auburn, N.H., wants the world to know his father “saved his life,” the child’s grandmother told the Herald yesterday.
Aden Ryan pulled through surgery on his legs Saturday night at Elliot Hospital in Manchester, N.H., only to learn yesterday that his father, Tewksbury native Keith Ryan Jr., did not survive.
“He kept saying, ‘Daddy pulled [me] off.’ He kept saying he thought the whole time that Daddy was OK,” Keith Ryan Jr.’s stepmother, Denise Ryan, said. “It’s going to be a long road for him.”
Funeral arrangements for Keith Ryan, 41, of Manchester, N.H., were incomplete Sunday.
Aden was seated on the snowmobile in front of his father when Keith Ryan lost control of the machine, Denise Ryan said.
“The throttle got stuck and it just took off,” she said. “It was just a tragic accident.”
Ryan’s girlfriend and his two daughters, ages 15 and 11, watched helplessly nearby.
Aden, who lives in Maine with his mom and sisters, told family that his father grabbed him and threw him to safety, apparently before the snowmobile went airborne and crashed into a brook. The boy’s father, thrown from the wreck, “died instantly,” Denise Ryan said.
Both the father and son were wearing helmets, she said.
“He died doing what he loved — spending time with his kids,” she said. “They were his world.”
She said her stepson had become interested in snowmobiling in the past year.
“Two days ago he told his father, ‘Don’t worry about it, I know what I’m doing.’ Right now all my husband wants to do is take a sledgehammer to that machine,” she said.
A graduate of Greater Lawrence Regional Vocational Technical School, Keith Ryan worked for his family’s Ryan Auction Co. and also as a second-shift lineman for Nstar.
“Our hearts go out to Kevin’s family at this very sad time,” Nstar spokesman Michael Durand said. “He was a valued employee and he’ll be missed by everyone here.”
Distributed by MCT Information Services